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Texas Tech's Mike Leach has new deal

The contract goes through 2013.

February 20, 2009|Staff and Wire Reports

Texas Tech and football Coach Mike Leach agreed Thursday on a new contract after months of contentious negotiations.

Leach signed the contract shortly after he and Kent Hance, the university's chancellor, met for about two hours Thursday afternoon to hammer out an agreement. Hance said the negotiating part lasted only about 15 minutes.

Weeks ago, Leach and Tech essentially settled on the financial terms of a five-year, $12.7-million deal. But Leach took issue with several clauses the school added when the sides were trading proposals. The provision that bothered Leach the most would have triggered his firing and a $1.5-million penalty if he interviewed for another job without getting permission from Athletic Director Gerald Myers.

In the new contract that keeps Leach at Tech through 2013, Leach only needs to notify Myers in writing to interview at another school.

PRO FOOTBALL

Peppers given franchise tag

Julius Peppers was slapped with the franchise player tag by Carolina, making it more difficult for the star defensive end to get his wish and leave the Panthers.

The tag was applied after the Panthers agreed on a new contract with left tackle Jordan Gross.

That cleared the way for Carolina to use the team's only franchise tag on Peppers, who had 14 1/2 sacks last season but expressed his desire to leave the Panthers and their 4-3 scheme for a team that plays a 3-4 defense.

In addition to Peppers, among those tagged Thursday were cornerback Dunta Robinson of Houston; tight end Bo Scaife of Tennessee; linebacker Leroy Hill of Seattle; and offensive tackle Max Starks of Pittsburgh.

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All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha re-signed with the Oakland Raiders, avoiding the franchise tag by agreeing to a three-year contract that's thought to be the richest ever given to a defensive back. News reports differed widely on the financial value of the contract, but most cited the value at nearly $30 million for the first two seasons alone, making it among the biggest ever given to a cornerback or safety. . . . Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch was charged with three gun-related misdemeanors after his arrest last week in Culver City. Lynch was charged with possessing a concealed, loaded and unregistered firearm.

TENNIS

Serena will face Venus

Serena Williams will face big sister Venus in the semifinals of the Dubai Tennis Championship after both advanced with straight-set wins at Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The top-seeded Serena beat eighth-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, 6-4, 6-4, in the quarterfinals, and Venus defeated defending champion Elena Dementieva, 6-3, 6-3.

Virginie Razzano of France upset fifth-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia, 7-6 (7), 7-5, and 16th-seeded Kaia Kanepi of Estonia beat Russian qualifier Elena Vesnina, 6-3, 7-5.

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Top-ranked Rafael Nadal will skip next week's Dubai Tennis Championships to rest a minor knee injury.

ETC.

Judge bars Bonds evidence

A federal judge has barred prosecutors from using three positive steroid tests and other key evidence in slugger Barry Bonds' trial next month because of his personal trainer's refusal to testify.

The ruling was expected. The judge had said earlier she was troubled by the admissibility of the test results because prosecutors couldn't conclusively tie them to Bonds.

Prosecutors allege that Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, collected the urine samples and delivered them for testing to the Bay Area Co-Operative Laboratory in 2000 and 2001.

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Tom Glavine has returned to the Atlanta Braves for one more season, reaching a preliminary agreement on a $1-million, one-year contract. . . . Colorado Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis will have exploratory surgery on his pitching shoulder next week and expects to miss the 2009 season.

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A crew member for Jeremy Mayfield's team has been suspended indefinitely for violating NASCAR's new substance abuse policy. Paul Chodora failed a mandatory test Feb. 11 at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR said. He's the first person punished under a policy that went into effect this season.

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Light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson's rematch with Antonio Tarver on March 14 in Las vegas has been postponed after Dawson injured his hand during training this week.

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